Talk to Me Like I'm Stupid: Collectivization in the Soviet Union

By Ta-Nehisi Coates

I want to ask a question of those who've followed these threads on Postwar and now Bloodlands. I'd like to talk those of you who've spent some time thinking about, reading about, or researching the history of the Soviet Union. I am trying to understood what Lenin, and then, Stalin was trying to accomplish. I have it this way so far:

1.) Marx's theory of communism held that there would be a worker's revolution.

A.) The revolution would begin in the industrialized states.

B.) The revolution would lead to communism where the workers, themselves, ran shit.

2.) Lenin and his Bolshevik comrades were communists.

A.) They did not believe in waiting for revolution, they sought foment one.

B.) They did not live in an industrialized state.

3.)  1A and 2B are in conflict. The Bolsheviks seek to resolve this conflict by industrializing.

A.) The funds for industrializing come from the crops grown by the peasantry to buy heavy machinery.

B.) The peasants lands are seized by the state and organized into collectives.

Is this basically a correct formulation of the plan?

What follows, of course, is something out of mix of World War Z and 12 Years A Slave. Famine. Roving bands of cannibals. State-sponsored slavery. More on that later, but I'd like to understand the basics of the plan before we start critiquing it and outlining its grim (horrifying, actually) results. 

As with all these threads, please do not talk out of boredom, to be "first," or to simply "say something." Ask questions. But don't talk out of the side of your neck. In fact, I'll leave comments locked for a moment.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/personal/archive/2014/01/talk-to-me-like-im-stupid-collectivization-in-the-soviet-union/282756/